Donating to charitable organizations is something that many of us want to do throughout the year. In fact, Americans gave more than $470 million to charities in 2020 alone. But making monetary charity contributions isn’t the only way that you can support causes that matter to you and your family.
If you’re scaling back your budget or simply looking for additional avenues to help your community, we’ll show you a few ways to give back to charities without cash ever leaving your hands.
Benefits of Supporting Local Organizations
Local charities are often the hardest hit when budget cuts are made or unexpected circumstances like pandemics or recessions happen. By donating to these smaller organizations, you can clearly see the impact of your help within your town or city.
Giving also has some benefits for you too. While it may not be our primary motivator, donating to charity certainly makes us feel good. You can even make tax-deductible charity donations to lower your annual taxable income. It’s best to seek help from financial planning services in Texas if you itemize your deductions and make a large amount of monetary donations each year.
There are some options for noncash contributions if this is your preference when it comes to how to support local charities. Speak to your accountant or financial advisor if you think that you may be able to take advantage of these tax benefits.
How To Help Charities Without Money
Donate Used Goods
When most people are thinking about how to help nonprofits, their first idea is to donate some of their unwanted clothes, furniture, or toys. Maybe you’re moving and have furniture that doesn’t fit in your new home. Or perhaps your children have outgrown their clothes or toys. Many organizations will gladly take your gently used possessions to either sell in their stores or pass along to those in need.
If you don’t have anything of your own to donate, some charities have supply lists of items that they’re in need of, that you can then buy new and donate. Food and pantry items are great for local food banks, while pet food and bedding are perfect for animal shelters.
Did you know that, according to the American Red Cross, a single blood donation can save the lives of three people? For less than an hour of your time, donating your blood could make a life-changing impact in your community.
If you have a rare blood type or one that’s currently in short supply, your support is even more crucial and is one of the best ways that you can give to a good cause for free.
Offer Your Skills or Expertise
For many charities, hiring specialists to support their marketing, finances and development, or fundraising initiatives can be incredibly costly. Even skills like sewing or construction can be beneficial for some organizations. If you’re an expert in something, offer your services to a nonprofit.
In many cases, full time staff are limited to a handful of people. As a result, charities often rely on volunteers to stay up and running. Working pro bono, or without pay, means that the organization can benefit from the specialized knowledge or skills that you have to improve their efficiency, without having to sacrifice any of their limited funds.
Volunteer Your Time
Even if you don’t have a particular skill that can be of use to a charity, giving up some of your personal time to help out is still appreciated. Homeless shelters, animal shelters, hospice facilities, soup kitchens and food banks, and big brother/big sister programs all need an army of volunteers to keep their operations working well, run fundraisers, and support the people who use their services.
If you’re traveling to and from an organization as a volunteer, your transportation costs are usually deductible come tax season. For volunteers who are required to wear a uniform, any costs associated with this are also deductible.
Shop at Stores That Support Charities
Many businesses, both large and small, now have social corporate responsibility initiatives, where a percentage of customer spending is donated to good causes.
Thrift stores like the Salvation Army and Goodwill generally send any profits made on goods sold to charities, while schemes like AmazonSmile can help a nonprofit in your area. There are numerous options out there for you to help when you make purchases that you were already intending to make.
Leave A Charitable Donation in Your Will
If you’re working with estate planning services in Texas, be sure to ask them about legacy giving. This means that, when you die, assets like money or personal property can be given to charity, alongside anything that you choose to leave to your children or other family. Planning this in advance is helpful for money management for foundations, while still allowing you to use those assets during your lifetime.
Using personal will services to arrange charitable trust management is one of the best ways to ensure that your chosen nonprofit will benefit from your estate upon your death. They can clarify any legal matters around your assets and make sure that the benefactor receives anything that you’ve chosen to leave for them.
Register As An Organ Donor
Thousands of people die in the United States every year while waiting for an organ donation. You can help by registering as an organ donor so that, when you die, your vital organs can be transplanted and save the lives of up to 9 different people at once.
Joining the National Donate Life Registry is quick and easy–you can even sign up when you go to renew your driver’s license! Anyone of any age can be registered, but individuals with serious health conditions may not be eligible for donation.
Run For A Cause
Many sporting events like marathons, 10k’s, and 5k’s support both local and national organizations. A portion, or all, of the funds raised by people participating in the event will go directly to good causes. Many will also have day-of fundraising stations for spectators to donate while cheering you on.
If running isn’t for you, other sponsored events like bake sales, community raffles, or entertainment shows are another great way to fundraise for local charities.
Donate Your Credit Card Rewards Points
Most reward credit cards now give you the option to donate your accrued rewards points directly to a charity, rather than redeeming them for cashback or other gifts. Check with your card provider to see if this is an option for you.
If you use your credit card for most of your purchases, you can quickly build up a large number of points. You’d be surprised at the sizable amounts that you can give back to charities without having to worry about your own personal finances!
Raise Awareness For A Charity You Care About
In this day and age of social media, spreading awareness about nonprofit organizations has never been easier. Be sure to follow your favorite local charities to stay up-to-date on their events, fundraisers, or volunteering needs.
Whenever you can, share posts from these organizations on your social media accounts to help word spread and reach your personal network. Talking about these charities and the work they do requires very little time and effort from you, but can make a big difference.
Support Those In Need In Your Community
If you’re feeling inspired to become the valuable asset that your local charities need, contact Moody Bank today to learn more. Our team can help you set up a charitable trust or will or apply for event sponsorship.